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2006 - The Year the FSF Reached Out 114

Posted by Zonk
from the hugs-from-a-penguin dept.
nanday writes "Linux.com is running a story about how the Free Software Foundation has transformed itself into an activist organization in the past year. From the story: 'At the start of 2006, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was largely inward-looking, focused on the GNU Project and high-level strategic concerns such as licensing. Now, without abandoning these issues, the FSF had transformed into an openly activist organization, reaching out to its supporters and encouraging their participation in civic campaigns often designed to enlist non-hackers in their causes. Yet what happened seems to bemuse even FSF employees.'" Linux.com and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.
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2006 - The Year the FSF Reached Out

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  • Transformation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jesboat (64736) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @09:04PM (#17412890) Homepage Journal
    It is an interesting transformation, and one that took people by storm. I can't help but wonder if this doesn't introduce a conflict of interest between the anti-DRM stuff and supporting GNU in the future.
  • It's about time... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaymzter (452402) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @09:11PM (#17412928) Homepage
    I've often wondered why the FSF hasn't reached out to the mainstream community before. The ideas and restrictions behind Treacherous Computing, DRM, and the Copyright Raiders should be enough to raise the hackles of any conservatives and libertarians out there. Until mainstream activists realized the dangers pointed out by RMS this will remain an uphill battle.

    As an aside, if the common public are pirates, maybe we should refer to the **AAs as Vikings or Raiders or something. Successively stealing our rights and enforcing their business models..
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 0racle (667029)
      I've often wondered why the FSF hasn't reached out to the mainstream community before
      Because most people do not care about what the FSF cares about.
      • by Karzz1 (306015)
        "Because most people do not care about what the FSF cares about."

        Because most people do not care about what the FSF cares about, to their own detriment; sacrificing fair usage rights through ignorance/complacency for the bottom line of large companies.

        There. Fixed that for you :)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Erwos (553607)
          What you don't get, apparently, is that this concern doesn't rank very high on the average person's radar compared to other stuff, like _crime_, _taxes_, and other such issues. It's like the "Save the *small rare bird* Foundation" - there's a bunch of folks who care, but they're absolutely dwarfed by those who don't. Why should your cause be at the top of the list, or anywhere in the vicinity?
          • by Dunbal (464142)
            "Save the *small rare bird* Foundation"

                  Exactly. After all, it's the penguin we're talking about here, right? :)
          • by Karzz1 (306015) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @10:27PM (#17413348) Homepage
            What you don't get, apparently, is that this concern doesn't rank very high on the average person's radar compared to other stuff, like _crime_, _taxes_, and other such issues. It's like the "Save the *small rare bird* Foundation" - there's a bunch of folks who care, but they're absolutely dwarfed by those who don't.

            That is quite a jump you just made there. I realize fully that there are more pressing matters in the eyes of most people (myself included). However, unlike the "Save the *small rare bird* Foundation" you mention, these are rights that people will miss once they have been stripped away. Other than a select few, almost no one will miss the birds (yes it is a tragedy, but really, how does it affect the average persons life?).

            The problem, as I see it, is that the large media companies have intentionally convoluted and obfuscated the issues so that the average person no longer understands what is really at stake - hence my use of the term "complacency". It is far easier to pretend that nothing is happening than to educate oneself on the issues at hand. Are these issues as important as many other issues, such as taxes or crime as you mentioned? Probably not in most peoples eyes. However that does not mean that we should simply ignore these issues simply because there are other more pressing matters to deal with first. This is where I applaud the FSF. They are raising awareness of these issues.

            "Why should your cause be at the top of the list, or anywhere in the vicinity?"

            I don't believe I suggested that this take precedence over all other issues or that it is "my cause"; I merely implied that it is an issue worthy of consideration.
            • by nuzak (959558)
              > However, unlike the "Save the *small rare bird* Foundation" you mention, these are rights that people will miss once they have been stripped away.

              Nonetheless, they still don't care what operating systems are available for their computer, let alone whether they can read ebooks or play videos on some OS they don't run. Or whether they can hack the OS on their TiVo.

              Isn't that just shocking? Tell me, do you know what the labor practices are at the farms where you get your food from? And why is it you're
              • by Karzz1 (306015)
                "Nonetheless, they still don't care what operating systems are available for their computer, let alone whether they can read ebooks or play videos on some OS they don't run. Or whether they can hack the OS on their TiVo.

                "...you'll get nowhere talking to them. Sheeple or not."

                My anecdotal evidence points in exactly the opposite direction. People that I talk to tend to talk to their friends about what is going on. "Sheeple" are far more receptive to ideas than you give them credit for. Research, however,
      • by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Saturday December 30, 2006 @09:46PM (#17413120) Homepage
        ... because most people don't understand what the FSF cares about, and it's likely they never will.

        For most people, you shove a DVD into a DVD player and if it works, that's all they need.

        Most of the people who do care are on Slashdot, and so it's easy to think of it as a huge bunch of folks, but I'd say about 1% of the population uses file sharing networks and maybe 2% of the population actually sees the problems with DRM. Now, that's a huge number of people, and a large percentage of the number of people interested in owning music or movies, so it's important to both producers and consumers of entertainment. But it's never going to be the dominant issue for more than a tiny handful of people.

        It's not enough to swing an election, so with politicla issues the RIAA has a huge advantage, and from what I can see, they use it ruthlessly.

        I think the FSF did a very nice job with BadVista.org . The site's very well done. But I think they will mainly be preaching to the choir.

        D
        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @10:40PM (#17413386) Journal

          Most of the people who do care are on Slashdot, and so it's easy to think of it as a huge bunch of folks, but I'd say about 1% of the population uses file sharing networks
          I think you'd be way off here. Take a look at the people the RIAA is suing; how many of them post on Slashdot, do you think? In my experience, it tends to be my non-geek friends who are more aware of which filesharing network is the place to get which kind of content. Using most of them doesn't require any technical knowledge, just a broadband connection. Mostly, it spreads because someone says 'hey, I found this way to get free songs' and installs it on all of their friends computers. They may have no understanding of the technology, or the legality, but they are still using the systems.
        • by Tim C (15259)
          I'd say about 1% of the population uses file sharing networks and maybe 2% of the population actually sees the problems with DRM. Now, that's a huge number of people, and a large percentage of the number of people interested in owning music or movies

          I must be misreading that, or else you didn't write quite what you meant to - are you seriously suggesting that 2% of the population is a large percentage of the music/movie buying section of the population?

          I don't know a single person who doesn't buy the odd CD
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by daviddennis (10926)
            You are right. I did not express myself clearly, and I apologise for that.

            Here's what I meant to say, broken down a little better.

            * Sure, almost everyone buys/rents a movie or two every year.
            * But the fanatics, who buy/rent/go to a movie or two every month, or even every week, are maybe 10% of the population, and they amount to 80% or more of the profits.
            * If you take the top 1-2% of the total population, then, who used to buy half the movies and now just download them, you're at about 20% of their core cu
            • by Curtman (556920)
              Sure, almost everyone buys/rents a movie or two every year.

              What population are we talking about here? The vast majority of the world's population doesn't have the luxury of indoor plumbing let alone television.
              • We are, of course, talking about people in the first world.

                Although third worlders are more advanced than you think. There are plenty of TVs and DVD players even in very poor households. I remember going to a tin shack in the Philippines and seeing a TV and DVD player in a prominent position in the living room. There are plenty of places, even retail stores, where you can buy pirated DVDs cheap. I talked to a cable TV magnate - a very nice man - who told me that the content providers were blowing it bec
                • by Ed Avis (5917)
                  the content providers were blowing it because they didn't scale the prices of content to where it was being sold.
                  Also known as region coding, and opposed by most people on Slashdot.
            • by mjeffers (61490)
              I don't know if you can assume that your 1-2% of downloaders will come from the 10% of the population that are movie fanatics. It's just as likely that those 1-2% could have been infrequent movie purchasers who took advantage of the free cost of downloading to sample more movies than they would have if they had to pay money.

              (I'm assuming you were talking about how you perceived the current situation and not proposing a plan to go after the movie fanatics as a method of activism. It wasn't clear.)
            • by darkwhite (139802)
              But the fanatics, who buy/rent/go to a movie or two every month, or even every week, are maybe 10% of the population, and they amount to 80% or more of the profits.

              What?!

              Most people who don't use filesharing extensively buy, rent, or go to watch movies more often than once a month. Your analysis in general, and that datum in particular, is way off base.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Paradise Pete (33184)
          I think the FSF did a very nice job with BadVista.org

          I'm not so sure. The first thing that happens is that you get redirected - so right away a curious but casual visitor thinks that either he's done something wrong or the site's not yet ready. Then, when (and if) he figures out that this weird .fsf.org is the right place, he's swamped with too much text that all looks the same. There's no single part that catches his eye and says "read me first, this is the idea. Then maybe if you like that then look at

        • by jbn-o (555068) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Sunday December 31, 2006 @12:41AM (#17414046) Homepage
          It's only "likely they never will" if those educated about software freedom believe they cannot talk to everyday computer users and therefore never try. I've done this work in person, on the radio, and online and I've learned that people are receptive to learning about social solidarity, ethics, and preserving freedom. In fact, it takes an inordinate amount of effort on the part of proprietors to convince people not to pay attention to issues of social solidarity in software including DRM, proprietary software, and patents. People don't take kindly to being restricted them doing something they want their computer to do. What proprietors do is constant education as well; people won't naturally separate themselves from one another and keep each other from working together. Proprietors know that people have to be taught to behave this way and endorse this mode of behavior in their everyday lives. You won't get where you want to go, politically, by giving up.

          I encourage everyone to help teach others about software freedom and reject notions that others won't understand you. It's incredibly rewarding to connect with people on a level where you share and work together.
        • by dangitman (862676)

          I think the FSF did a very nice job with BadVista.org .

          Yeah, they did a great job in promoting Vista awareness. So now, more people will know that there's a new version of Windows coming out, and maybe they should set aside some Christmas money for the upgrade.

          • I have to say that the universe of people who visit the FSF's site and don't know Vista exists has to be pretty small, if not non-existant.

            I will give the Microsoft marketing machine sufficient credit to say that most people know Vista exists, even if they are not sure what it is or what it does.

            I was talking to someone who wants to buy a new computer soon and when I started explaining that she should get a computer that was "Windows Vista Premium ready" and not just "Windows Vista capable", her eyes glazed
      • by Eideewt (603267)
        Um, that would be *the reason* to reach out. Preaching to the choir is great for warm fuzzies, but bad for results.
    • I think that they could be doing something more useful with the Bad Vista campaign, namely I think this guy's post sums things up:

      http://blogs.gnome.org/view/ryanl/2006/12/30/0 [gnome.org]

      gNewSense? give me a break...
    • maybe we should refer to the **AAs as Vikings or Raiders or something. Successively stealing our rights and enforcing their business models..

      Vikings and Raiders both sound too cool and are also names of sports teams. However, especially with the help of a few popular movies, "Pirates" are pretty cool in the public mind. Call 'em by the stodgy acronyms they are. or the already-popular MAFIAA.

    • by westlake (615356)
      Treacherous Computing, DRM, and the Copyright Raiders

      Does the Geek ever stop to think his language brings back memories of the wearisome, sophomoric, political rants and slogans that most of us leave behind when we are out of college?

      The mainstream politician ignores these issues because these issues will never become mainstream as the Geek defines them. If the FSF wants to be politically effective, it needs to listen more and shout less.

      To the home user, rental and subscription services offer added val

      • To the home user, rental and subscription services offer added value.

        You sound like you must be one of the half dozen people who ran down to Circuit City and bought a DIVX box.

        • by westlake (615356)
          You sound like you must be one of the half dozen people who ran down to Circuit City and bought a DIVX box

          I am one of the tens of millions who subscribe to cable TV and other services.

          • Neither cable TV nor any other service with tens of millions of customers is currently "protected against re-distribution through the P2P nets". So your assertion that the annoying restrictions that would be introduced if such protection were effectively implemented won't be a problem for consumers is based on pure speculation.
      • Does the Geek ever stop to think his language brings back memories of the wearisome, sophomoric, political rants and slogans that most of us leave behind when we are out of college?

        What about taking a large, diverse group of people, lumping them all together under a capitalised adjective, and then ascribing certain character flaws to this entity in order that you may criticise it? That seems quite wearisome and sophomoric in itself.

        That said, if we can detach your critique from geekdom in general, and

        • by westlake (615356)
          Or to put it another way, the prices charged for DVDs and CDs is a massive rip-off, and that's something joe public will care about. It just needs explaining in the right terms.

          The typical price for a high definition DVD sold through Amazon is $20 USD.

          The typical production budget for a Pixar film is approaching $100 million USD. It takes five to ten years and the labor of 400 people to bring a Pixar film from its initial concept to theatrical release.

          No deposit, no return. People want content from the

          • The typical production budget for a Pixar film is approaching $100 million USD.

            Just because one figure is very big, and the other was very small, that doesn't mean the DVDs are not badly overpriced.

            But let's talk about Pixar. Let's talk about Cars [imdb.com]

            Cars had a production budget [boxofficemojo.com] of $120 million. That's high-end for Pixar, who shot The Incredibles for 90 million, but your average of 100 million works fine for recent Pixar films. Cars took $60 million in its first week of cinematic release. And, appare

    • by mgiuca (1040724)
      Can we stop being childish and calling it "Treacherous Computing".

      I much prefer the name "Trusted Computing" - it's got that chilling doublespeak, and obvious twist that it doesn't trust YOU. "Treacherous Computing" is just meaningless, and lame too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dangitman (862676)

      I've often wondered why the FSF hasn't reached out to the mainstream community before.

      The grammatical construction of your statement implies that you believe that the FSF is reaching out to the mainstream community now. Problem is, they aren't. They are just pulling retarded publicity stunts that do not resonate with the mainstream. It would be nice if they decided to "reach out," but their actions this year indicate the opposite - they just want to further wall themselves off into an enclave.

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      As an aside, if the common public are pirates, maybe we should refer to the **AAs as Vikings or Raiders or something.

      Hey! I like being a pirate. Look at what the MPAA members have done to villify the concept. The Dread Pirate Roberts and Captain Jack Sparrow. Even when they're bad guys, the pirates are usually pretty cool villians, leaders of men and highly worthy of respect.
  • Thank you FSF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JayTech (935793)
    Thank you Free Software Foundation,

    You guys have helped spread the dream of free access, open source and non-proprietary software to the everyday consumer. You've dared to speak out against the media & industry giants in your quest to unmask the truth of rights-stripping DRM. Keep fighting the good fight, we are behind you 100%.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Millenniumman (924859)

      You guys have helped spread the dream of free access, open source and non-proprietary software to the everyday consumer.

      No, they haven't. Very few people have moved to open source systems, and very few have any desire to, or even knowledge of what they are.

      You've dared to speak out against the media & industry giants in your quest to unmask the truth of rights-stripping DRM.

      Ugh, dared to? They're not the mafia, anyone and everyone can say whatever they want whenever they want. And unmasking the truth? It's rather obvious. DRM restricts what you can do with media. That's it. It isn't good, but it isn't really very important.

      • Re:Thank you FSF (Score:5, Informative)

        by grcumb (781340) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @11:14PM (#17413590) Homepage Journal

        You guys have helped spread the dream of free access, open source and non-proprietary software to the everyday consumer.
        No, they haven't. Very few people have moved to open source systems...

        You've got a typo there. Let me fix it for you:

        "Very few people are aware that they have moved to open source systems, such as the Internet and its services, all of which are, philosophically if not literally, part of the Free world that Richard Stallman envisioned lo, these many years ago."

        ...and very few have any desire to, or even knowledge of what they are.

        The first won't happen without the second. The FSF has done a bang-up job educating developers and other geeks, to the extent that the de facto choice these days for developers is between Microsoft and GNU GPL systems and applications. There are other options, but these two dominate.

        Now the FSF seem to believe that, the first battle being won, they've got to reach out to the general public - or should that be GNU/General Public - and continue the fight there. Given your points about general awareness, I think the decision is a wise one. Way to go, FSF!

        • Very few people are aware that they have moved to open source systems, such as the Internet and its services, all of which are, philosophically if not literally, part of the Free world that Richard Stallman envisioned lo, these many years ago.

          That is utter nonsense. Yes, their may be some vague philosophical similarity between "Free" software and the internet, but that doesn't mean they are the same thing. Most people are not using "Free" software, certainly not personally.

          the de facto choice these days for developers is between Microsoft and GNU GPL systems and applications.

          Rarely is such a choice put forth. If said developer wants to, you know, eat, have a residence, make a living, etc, he is likely stuck using proprietary Microsoft or Sun systems. With Java being GPLed, that might change somewhat, but as far as I am aware one will need to rel

      • by wrook (134116)
        > DRM restricts what you can do with media. That's it. It isn't good, but it isn't really very important.

        I would say this is a short-sighted version of not very important.

        DRM doesn't stop what you can do with media, it controls *what* you can watch, and *who* you can get it from. Yes, most people don't notice because they are used to having little choice. In the US, how many people watch news from a news station that *isn't* associated with a few big companies? That's because it has historically been
        • Now, let's say all video equipment starts to play only content that is encoded with special keys.
          But, it doesn't. You can "let's say" anything, but that doesn't make it a valid point if it isn't true.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by wrook (134116)
            Sigh... That's my point. It doesn't. Yet. The point behind fighting DRM is to make sure that doesn't happen. I could care less whether or not *any particular device* has DRM. What I care about is making sure the public doesn't accept DRM as "the cost of doing business". Because once all the popular media falls under DRM, it will be a short technological tweak to ensuring that only certain groups get a voice in the media.

            Again, look at the gaming industry. Try to release anything to the general publi
        • by fotbr (855184)
          There's always the dead-tree approach to communication, or, *gasp* face to face contact.

          Some people simply do not care about the trash being produced and labeled as entertainment, and as a result don't care if it ever finds its way into the public domain, or if they'll only be allowed to watch it if it has been approved. I'm one of those. There's very, very little music created in the last 100 years or so that I listen to. There's even fewer television shows and movies that I care about (which translates
      • They're the MAFIAA (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tepples (727027)

        You've dared to speak out against the media & industry giants in your quest to unmask the truth of rights-stripping DRM.
        Ugh, dared to? They're not the mafia
        O RLY? [mafiaa.org]

        anyone and everyone can say whatever they want whenever they want.
        Even where to get fair use tools for DVD-Video?
      • "Ugh, dared to? They're not the mafia, anyone and everyone can say whatever they want whenever they want."

        I'm glad you are so sure about it... But you should go see what happens to people that dare think like FSF people. Oh, wait, you won't find them, only FSF people supported those decades of public embarassement.

        "And unmasking the truth? It's rather obvious. DRM restricts what you can do with media."

        Yet most people do no understand it.

      • No, they haven't. Very few people have moved to open source systems, and very few have any desire to, or even knowledge of what they are.

        You have such a dismal and inaccurate view of things. I talk to non-technical people all the time about the ideas, and I tend to get a very positive response.

        Of course, it's easy to be enthusiastic, but not so easy to act on it. I know of a few people though who have switched what they use because I've helped them understand what was going on and what was at stake.

        Y

    • Actually, as the article points out, the FSF isn't about encouraging anyone to use "open source systems" they want to teach all computer users to value certain freedoms for their own sake—the freedoms to run, share, inspect, and modify software. By contrast, the open source movement speaks chiefly to software developers and managers encouraging them to value a development methodology where programmers can more efficiently improve software. The two movements approve of some of the same licenses for s
  • by vruz (468626)
    who was the idiot that set the tag "money" for this article ?
  • I wonder (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @09:50PM (#17413158) Homepage Journal
    If they weren't an activist organization until this year, what the heck were they the previous twenty four years?
    • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bfields (66644) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @12:54AM (#17414110) Homepage
      If they weren't an activist organization until this year, what the heck were they the previous twenty four years?

      I think they were concentrated much more on supporting free software development directly.

      That's less of a priority now, I suppose (for the happy reason that lots of other people are spending money on development), so they're concentrating more on politics--something the various companies funding developers may not be able to do.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The whole GPL 3 thing seemed pretty abstract to me until the Novell-Microsoft deal. That's when I appreciated the FSF's stand a whole lot more. So, yes, they did get some adverse reaction initially but I suspect a lot of that has turned around.
  • by BigBuckHunter (722855) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @10:21PM (#17413316)
    I agreed with most of the tactics of the FSF over the past few years. Then, I started seeing more an more propeganda (like their anti-vista site). I am still terribly troubled by the direction of the FSF and feel that my they no longer are working in my best interest. Just so we are on the same page, here are my opinions on the subjects they are dealing with.

    Vista: I do not wish to port my apps to, purchase, or deploy a leacy operating system.
    DRM: I do not wish to port my applications to legacy hardware platforms.
    Propritary Licenses: I do no wish to relicense my applications using legacy licenses.

    Notice the uber-troll passive aggresive use of the word "legacy". I hope other slashdotters here will pick up the word and add it to their everyday vocabulary when dealing with MS sales drones.

    BBH
    • Notice the uber-troll passive aggresive use of the word "legacy". I hope other slashdotters here will pick up the word and add it to their everyday vocabulary

      Good lord.

      As if Geek-speak wasn't stupidly off-putting enough as it stands. Passive-aggressive indeed.

      Vista on the boss's quad core 64 bit system isn't going to look or perform like a legacy OS and it is the boss the sales drone gets to see.

    • This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Right up there with stupid sayings like Treacherous Computing.

      When will you get it through your heads that nobody outside of Slashdot and the tech community really cares about these issues? You just make yourself look like some moron with an axe to grind.

      You're a geek. You understand these issues. Average people don't, and won't until it actually hits them. There is nothing you can do to accelerate this. They will always listen to their sales drones before they
  • I am all for the idea of informing people about the dangers of Vista, trusted(sic) computing, and others. But, they all seem to have an amateurish feel to them. I signed up to recieve the DefectiveByDesign emails, and they just have this childish feel to them. One was to tag products on Amazon with defectivebydesign if they contained/used DRM. I mean, WTF?

    This may backfire on them. You know, those hippies with the bad argument, or pretty shiny Vista that I got for free...

    They need a backer, somebody lik
  • Try sending them an email relating to gnu software - even volunteering to take over a dead project and see if you can get better than the three months it took for the reply I got.

    With a limited number of people they have to focus on what they see as important - and for now that is IP laws in the United States.

    • Missed putting the obvious in here - the resources of gnu really all shifted to the FSF, but they are seperate projects. The email was to gnu attempting to get some code they had on some of the old CDs the used to sell - sadly now lost for some reason.
    • GNU was started as a project when there was relatively little OSS and very little free (as-in-speech) software. It expanded into a kind of moral vacuum, and got adopted by default by many who care about free software. Now, there is FOSS, at some level of development, for just about everything and bringing up new or under-developed parts of the GNU collection is harder; they'd have to fight for mindshare.

      If the GNU developers reason like RMS and FSF, then they will choose the course that maximizes use of f

  • While 2006 was the year the FSF reached out, 2005 was certainly the year that the FSM [wikipedia.org] did some reaching out (with his noodly appendage).
  • DRM now Vista (Score:2, Insightful)

    GO FSF!

    I have watched over the years as /. readers have bitched and moaned about DRM and M$, and for years nothing, nothing happens.

    FSF suddenly go for it, launch Defective by Design (they even do "protests" outside Apple stores!) and BOOM they get huge press coverage, and DRM now seems doomed, and everyone agrees.

    Now they have launched BadVista, huge press coverage, and suddenly everyone seems to "get it" that Vista is a DRM platform, and it will be a nightmare.

    More crappy activism like this please!
  • This smell of bullshits. RMS is a political activist. His issue are political. Free softwares are generally political statement. The Free software movement is alway a social movement, which mean it is a political movement. BS. FSF is alway an activist organization. And an organization I would gladly support.
    • rms is not the FSF. The FSF is not rms.

      And I would suggest that you concentrate on your English skills. Those are a higher priority than some grotty programming language like Ruby.
  • Protesting about Vista and DRM won't do shit.

    Telling people they shouldn't buy HD-DVD and Blu-Ray and "you should prohibit them from your home and your life.". Do the FSF people get out from their myopic community at any time and meet some normal people? Most of them couldn't care less about free software rights. They buy a PC from Dell, they pop their DVD/HD-DVD in and it plays the movie. It does what they want.

    I have a lot of respect for Mark Shuttleworth because he actually has some understanding of

    • I've had this discussion so often. I see the whole Open Source movement as a tactical (i.e. 'now') path to the Free Software strategy.

      I can see some merit in sticking to your guns, but if you're not realistic you will never achieve anything and just end up alienating people and become isolated - and ignored.

      Mark Shuttleworth has both feet firmly planted on the ground (except when he was collecting airmiles in a spectacular way :-), and knows exactly where he's heading. It irritates me that many don't see
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "The likes of Canonical are doing far more for free software than the FSF are."

      Ubuntu isn't free software - it includes binary files without source, that violate at least 2 of what FSF considers fundamental freedoms, and encourages (though the restricted repositaries) the use of more proprietary software.

      Go back to Bruce's open-source camp, where you can discuss your "I don't care what the license is so long as my music plays" arguments...
  • Thanks for your work, mates! :D
    The Ryzon thing, and all others :D

    As always:

    Thanks!

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

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